NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 19940020122: Assessment of impact damage of composite rocket motor cases
Publication date 1994-02-19
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), AXIAL STRESS, COMPOSITE STRUCTURES, DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, IMPACT DAMAGE, IMPACT LOADS, IMPACT TESTS, ROCKET ENGINE CASES, TENSILE STRENGTH, CRACKING (FRACTURING), DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS, FIBER-MATRIX INTERFACES, FILAMENT WINDING, FRACTURES (MATERIALS), MATHEMATICAL MODELS, NONLINEAR EQUATIONS, TOMOGRAPHY, Paris, Henry G.,
This contract reviewed the available literature on mechanisms of low velocity impact damage in filament wound rocket motor cases, MDE methods to quantify damage, critical coupon level test methods, manufacturing and material process variables and empirical and analytical modeling off impact damage. The critical design properties for rocket motor cases are biaxial hoop and axial tensile strength. Low velocity impact damage is insidious because it can create serious nonvisible damage at very low impact velocities. In thick rocket motor cases the prevalent low velocity impact damage is fiber fracture and matrix cracking adjacent to the front face. In contrast, low velocity loading of thin wall cylinders induces flexure, depending on span length and the flexure induces delamination and tensile cracking on the back face wall opposed to impact occurs due to flexural stresses imposed by impact loading. Important NDE methods for rocket motor cases are non-contacting methods that allow inspection from one side. Among these are vibrothermography, and pulse-echo methods based on acoustic-ultrasonic methods. High resolution techniques such as x-ray computed tomography appear to have merit for accurate geometrical characterization of local damage to support development of analytical models of micromechanics. The challenge of coupon level testing is to reproduce the biaxial stress state that the full scale article experiences, and to determine how to scale the composite structure to model full sized behavior. Biaxial tensile testing has been performed by uniaxially tensile loading internally pressurized cylinders. This is experimentally difficult due to gripping problems and pressure containment. Much prior work focused on uniaxial tensile testing of model filament wound cylinders. Interpretation of the results of some studies is complicated by the fact that the fabrication process did not duplicate full scale manufacturing. It is difficult to scale results from testing subscale cylinders since there are significant differences in out time of the resins relative to full scale cylinder fabrication, differences in hoop fiber tensioning and unsatisfactory coupon configurations. It appears that development of a new test method for subscale cylinders is merited. Damage tolerance may be improved by material optimization that uses fiber treatments and matrix modifications to control the fiber matrix interface bonding. It is difficult to develop process optimization in subscale cylinders without also modeling the longer out times resins experience in full scale testing. A major breakthrough in characterizing the effect of impact damage on residual strength, and understanding how to scale results of subscale evaluations, will be a sound micromechanical model that described progressive failure of the composite. Such models will utilize a three dimensional stress analysis due to the complex nature of low velocity impact stresses in thick composites. When these models are coupled with non-contact NDE methods that geometrically characterize the damage and acoustic methods that characterize the effective local elastic properties, accurate assessment of residual strength from impact damage may be possible. Directions for further development are suggested.
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